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SOM's office complex revives Buenos Aires’ waterfront with two intertwined trapezoidal glazed towers

Argentina Architecture News - Oct 17, 2019 - 12:09   1346 views

SOM's office complex revives Buenos Aires’ waterfront with two intertwined trapezoidal glazed towers

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has released design for a new office complex in Buenos Aires’ Catalinas Norte business district, a new office complex aims to activate the waterfront with two intertwined trapezoidal towers by creating "an urban window". 

The glazed towers are interlocked by skybridges and green terraces, retail units, public green spaces, the project will create "a new, vibrant identity for the district and the city skyline," states SOM. 

Called Catalinas Rio, the project occupies a significant portion of Buenos Aires’ new Catalinas Norte II master plan, a major public endeavor to transform underutilized railyards along the Rio de la Plata to extend the city’s business district. 

SOM's office complex revives Buenos Aires’ waterfront with two intertwined trapezoidal glazed towers

"By building over former railways and moving highways below grade, the development will bring the city closer to the waterfront and establish a new destination. Catalinas Rio is designed to enhance this new public realm," said SOM in its project description. 

Catalinas Rio towers will be located on Catalinas Norte II’s largest site—three of the district expansion’s seven lots, positioned in one horizontal row along the waterfront.

The project is developed by Consultatio Real Estate and "the city’s financial district is undergoing a period of unprecedented expansion," said Eduardo F. Costantini, President of Consultatio Real Estate. 

"The new plots acquired by Consultatio bring about new ways of coexistence and urban connection. Thus, Catalinas Rio was born as a strategic project, a crucial point of contact and passage through areas destined for commercial activities, combined with green spaces and cultural, tourist, governmental, and historical sites. It’s a new icon that will change Buenos Aires’ skyline view from the river."

SOM's office complex revives Buenos Aires’ waterfront with two intertwined trapezoidal glazed towers

"The result," said SOM Design Partner Gary Haney, "is an unorthodox solution that aims to set a precedent in Buenos Aires office design, with a primary focus on wellness, open space, and creating a new urban identity."

The project consists of two towers, one that rises 29 floors and another that spans 22 levels, are connected by large, multi-story, trapezoidal floorplates that act as bridges and one of the building’s essential wellness features. 

Together, the towers and bridge floors form an urban window and establish the active heart of the office experience. Large, landscaped decks cross both bridge roofs, and are complemented by recessed balconies in the tower floors to provide sweeping views of both the waterfront and cityscape. 

SOM's office complex revives Buenos Aires’ waterfront with two intertwined trapezoidal glazed towers

The terrace configuration is strategically designed to provide outdoor space through all seasons and weather conditions—with the roof decks drawing sunlight on clear days and the tower balconies providing shade in the heat and rain. In total, the terraces offer 10,000 square meters of permeable outdoor space.

"The building itself is conceived as a vertical campus," said SOM Director Kim Van Holsbeke. "It is a single structure that continues the vibrancy of the urban square up to the office floors."

SOM's office complex revives Buenos Aires’ waterfront with two intertwined trapezoidal glazed towers

Inside, sustainability and wellness will culminate to create an enhanced interior workplace. A high performance glass building will provide a solar shading filter to reduce heat gain. Vertical fins, horizontal shades, and light shelves will be optimized throughout the day to bring natural daylight deep into the interior. 

An enhanced fresh air filtration system and access to water fountains throughout the building will complement the daylighting and provide office users with a healthy indoor work environment. The building is targeting LEED® Gold Certification. 

Construction is anticipated to be completed in 2022. 

All images © SOM/ Ekoomedia 

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